|Stormers v Kings: Sunday 1.05am (AEST)
at Newlands, Cape Town
|Best Bet: Stormers -33.5 ($1.90)
Value Bet: Stormers by 36-40 ($6.50)
The Stormers’ place in the finals is already confirmed, and they will use this weekend’s dead-rubber against the battling Kings as a training run.
Test locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit headline the contingent being rested by the Stormers, while centre Daniel du Plessis is out with injury.
The Stormers won both of their previous encounters against the Kings, which were both in 2013: 24-12 in Port Elizabeth and 19-11 in Cape Town.
The Stormers enjoyed a successful fortnight in Australia to clinch top spot in their conference, pumping the Rebels 57-31 and grinding out a 22-3 win over the Force. They have a 9-4-1 record with the seventh-best attack and second-ranked defence in the competition.
The Kings fell 48-18 to an under-strength Highlanders side before crashing to a 57-21 away loss to the Lions. Their 2-12 record sees them sitting second-last in the comp, with the worst defensive stats and the second-worst attack.
The Stormers’ Jean-Luc du Plessis and the Kings’ Louis Fouche will control proceedings from the flyhalf position.
Stats That Matter
The Stormers are 7-7 against the start in 2016, while the Kings are 6-8 ATS this year. The Stormers are 9-4-1 at home since the start of 2015 (6-8 against the line). The Kings are 1-12-1 on the road in their Super Rugby history. Home sides are 70-52-3 this season (66-60 against the start). Home favourites are 62-21 overall and 48-34 ATS in 2016.
The Stormers will go in under-strength, but their second-stringers will be determined to play a part in the finals and they shouldn’t lose too much against a team as weak as the Kings. The Port Elizabeth side leaks an extraordinary 45 points per game, while the Stormers’ stout defence will make it difficult for the visitors to make much of an impression on the scoreboard. Another rout looms for the hapless Kings.
The Way It’s Shaping
Stormers by 39
Stormers -33.5 ($1.90)
Stormers by 36-40 ($6.50)